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January and December were two completely different months for us here in the Northeast weather-wise. December might as well have been named October, with record breaking warmth including days reaching 70 degrees. January however, was a much different story. We predicted below average temperatures and that’s exactly what occurred. Also, one of the worst blizzards in history pounded Southern and Eastern PA with as much as 38″ of snow. Some areas received more snow in the single snowstorm than their season average.
So what does February have in its plans for our area? For the first five days, a storm will move through the Plains into the Great Lakes, bringing rain along with temperatures in the 40s in our region. By the time the first weekend of the month rolls around, we expect a strong cold front to come through behind the storm, bringing the coldest air of the season.
This cold air won’t go anywhere as a significant stratospheric warming event occurs. Both the Arctic and Northern Atlantic Oscillations will also fall negative as the MJO stays in the circle of death or very weak phase 3/4. This all will lock in below average temperatures in our area for the rest of the month of February.
There is an overwhelming amount of agreement that this stratospheric warming event will take place. Furthermore, based on previous February strat. warming events, our region will be between -2 – 5°F below average, which is much colder than it sounds. But will we have moisture to go with this to make February not only a cold, but snow month as well?
With El Nino continuing to pump in moisture through the Southern Stream also known as the “Pineapple Express,” we expect a fairly active month as far as storminess. The majority of storms here in Pennsylvania will be snow events. With well below average temperatures out toward the Midwest, that’s where high pressure will be located much of the time, meaning many storms will be coastal events similar to the storm we just saw, but most likely not as intense.
Overall, we expect below average temperatures and above average snowfall in the month of February, which is exactly what our forecast stated back in October. Like our facebook page to be in the loop when winter storms threaten >>> Pennsylvania Weather Action Facebook Page! Stay safe everyone!